[Reading Bytes] Druid healing from the perspective of a heal team leader

I need a catchy title for this sort of post “Reading Bytes” or something… (yeah going with that) Will work on finding something wittier later, I am not particularly good at witty some days… in fact I suspect I am only witty by accident where I say something in all seriousness and everyone laughs and I smile and ride the amusement factor while thinking “opps need to watch my wording more”

Reads that caught my attention recently (sort of interlinked in some cases) of a healing theme, or about LFR and the roles of tanking & healing (our tanks QQ about LFR all the time) – all recommended reading if you have an interest in that sort of thing:

These are the reads that had me sitting at my work desk pondering things like heal team dynamic, my raid team and perception of roles and performance (pffft pondering happens while idling editing text code using my new unix command powers – honestly at work I feel as if its like I am a modern day lass being taught how to wield the traditional sword and armour-wear of the IT desk jockey… the whole thing cracks me up every time I touch the telnet client thingy they have me working through… who needs buttons? Not IT peeps apparently bwahahahaha.)

The post from Falling Leaves and Ysera’s post some time later are of pertinent interest to me at the moment due to heal team management more than anything. Humm that and I always do love to read about healing class synergies, and the insight into the challenges and facts of what your fellow druid healer may experience in a team are useful for me in particular as one of my regular and reliable healing team conscripts is currently a resto druid.

It never fails to frustrate me a little that a healing team tends to get judged off the bat during raids from their recount HPS output… I honestly think recount is the worst tool for properly breaking down how one of your healers is performing, and it doesn’t take into account at all how the team is synergising. Sure sure if I have a healer who is straight out doing maybe 50% or less the output of the rest of my healing team then that healer is going to need to be examined, their gear ilvl, stat choices, gems and enchants and rotations will get a once over with all the tools I have at hand so that I can actually analyse what is happening and where the discrepancies lie. I like to think I do this sort of thing in a friendly, open and hopefully in a non-threatening manner. After all it’s just a computer game, we are all adults with rich lives outside the game, but we do need to work as a team to achieve common raid goals.

It often seems to me that when there is a wipe one of the first things raiders will cast their eyes over are the healing meters. I spent a lot of time at the start of the pandarian xpac expounding that raid mechanics were often more the issue at hand then the healing output from the healing team (and yes the poor tanks get cross examined too I know, but being judged purely on a dump number from recount feels so very insulting.)

It’s not just tanks and dps that exhibit this behaviour though, I have sometimes found that I get a heal team element who will cast their eyes over the healing meters and judge without trying for the bigger picture. We had a fantastic Monk healer at the beginning of the xpac, I have to say he was really a valuable addition to the team… great reactions times, excellent output, a returning ex-officer even… made the raid team crack amusing jokes about planking – I miss that. Despite this he didn’t integrate with the team at all well. His heals were roughly 10-15k higher than my own (disc priest noob) and maybe 8-10k higher my holy paladin partner… who healed with me through the entire last xpansion… also an ex-officer actually. Instead of feeling secure in the position of top guild healer things … just went bad for our monk. Recount meters came up at some point so I think it was more than just healing burnout due to the new level of difficulty of healer mana conservation, gatekeeped gear and lack of progression, I honestly think that seeing his own name at the top of his own recount meter all the time made him feel like he was carrying the rest of the healing team.

Oh the heal team wasn’t toxic or anything but with three officers healing, two of which have been heal team leaders, there wasn’t a lot of official “heal assignments” being handed out by yours truly… both these fellow members being raid savvy and independent. Humm and all three healers considered themselves “tank healers”… I myself had a little niche keeping our Bear tank damage-mitigated until his gear levelled up. This team always got the job done, and while quiet and stretched on the mana I honestly believe wipes happened generally due to issues with mechanics more than anything. My guild was set back a number of times from bringing new raid team members or tanks to the table, each time this happened we lost progression as the new raiders had to learn all the normal raid mechanics. Despite the team being effective our monk healer quietly suffered stress and role pressure to the point where he left the heal team and eventually quit raiding. What I learnt from this is that a healthy heal team needs someone bossing them at least a little, they need the role assignments so they can look at their own assignment and see that they have succeeded at the task (or see that maybe they need to improve some aspect of their play) – because, and this is important, healing in a team is about more than just your HPS output and recount readout.

Our druid healer pulls in a lot of what I like to think of as “recount related complaints”. Maybe it will be of interest to the druid healers out there? Below are some of the things a heal team leader may need to go to bat about on your behalf :) (I hope to think that I help foster an understanding of healing classes and their strengths and weaknesses in my raid team, but particularly with the officers and raid leaders.)   So yeah, things I have had to address recently in regards to my druid team member include:

[Why is the druid’s self-healing higher than her healing on other people. We lost a tank, is the druid somewhat at fault because they have higher self-healing than tank healing like the other two healers. ]

  • Well the druid’s self-healing is higher because she has an odd habit of casting her “green puddle thing” swiftmend & her wildgrowth on herself because she believes that she can position herself to more effectively hit the raid with spillout. I don’t really have a problem with this so long as she is still getting something like a 10-12% healing spread on the raid. Please do move along.
  • The druid wasn’t assigned to heal the tank, I am still happy to see that other than healing herself she did indeed heal the tank for slightly more than the requisite 10% raid coverage of druid juice. I would hope that when I look at WoL this is in part from Lifebloom, and that she is allowing it to actually bloom as the new ways require rather than rolling it as we used to do. Please do move along.

[Why does the druid have a high overheal?]

  • I have checked the druids overhealing and it is all the expected spells you would see in a druids overhealing portfolio.However if you notice the druid overhealing using healing touch, well then please do contact your raid heal team leader.

[Why is the druid lowest on the healing meters today?]

  • The druid is healing with a holy paladin and a disc priest today, we are decent at what we do and what we do is mitigate everything. Please do move along.

Sigh I could go on, but I won’t bore any peep who has read this far any further. Oh I’m not saying there aren’t things this druid healer can’t improve on – I subscribe to the ‘lifelong learning’ philosophy that is ever so prevalent in the librarian profession. You can always learn more about your class, your role, the fight. You can always be more effective or be looking constantly to making adjustments.

And I am a hard-nosed realist – every person and player has their weaknesses and blind spots. This druid could mind where she is standing with more care; an awareness of her own strengths tends to make her overconfident or strong headed about a course she has chosen, which means getting her to take direction can sometimes be a challenge. She could stop using symbiosis to get herself my leap of faith spell because raiders hate being leap of faithed and it would make my life easier to be able to ban peeps from borrowing it lol (Dreams dreams.)

But these are not team breaking concerns at all.

The other healers in the team are comfortable healing with her. That is if she minds herself and remembers not to bossy-boots them around (being of the type of character that is bursting full of information on any given topic and over eager to help), honestly they are all experts in their own right and do not require step by step directions… pffft well if they do then the raid leaders should be the ones dishing them out. In any case all of the other healers on the heal team have stated verbally that they are happy & confident healing with this druid.

I can give the druid an assignment and be confident that the druid will heal that assignment to the best of their ability. (Even if they do occasionally kill me with an orb impact on Jin /sillysulk QQ)

I can put this druid on decusing assignments and watch as her inner Annie Oakly comes out and the curses & debuffs are fired upon indiscriminately.

I can give this druid the shit jobs, like staying back on ta’yak phase two with the team that have to run the whirlwind gauntlet the slow way, or beginning the pheromone kiting as the healer representative or what not. Well I can give these jobs to any member of my team and have faith that after a few attempts they will have the lay of it and pick it up.

Its a good team. They are all reliable. They are all capable of the content we are tackling. They are not letting us down.

The druid and the team do not need fixing. We are a happy working group. So our holy priest is a holy-roller (lol) and the star of the show at the moment… the others are all doing their jobs as well.

I  think that if people have a problem with their druid healer (and if its not gear, rotation or player derpyness) then perhaps they need to think about how they are managing their team -

  • are you helping your healers work together and assigning them roles they are suited to?
  • does each healer have something in the fight they are responsible for doing or taking care of?
  • do your healers know each others abilities and co-ordinate cooldowns?
  • do you get them to cycle as DPS for variety? (its important in 10mans to have strong hybrid OS.)

I mean do you as a raid leader or a heal team leader understand what your druid is actually for?

Or are you making your paladin do all that run healing on the Garalon kite assignments and the Ta’yak corridor :P (meh - when my peeps get past the current content I’ll find you more current boss examples pffft)

About Bytes

Guild Officer, occasional raid leader and 10man raid healer. My current main is a Disc Priest (OS Shadow). I am interested in research and new technology RL side. These skills carry over into the hobby.
This entry was posted in Blah blah, Class Topics, Druid, Mists of Pandaria, MMORPG, Officer Concerns, Paladin, Priest, PVE, Raiding, World of warcraft, Xpacs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to [Reading Bytes] Druid healing from the perspective of a heal team leader

  1. karegina says:

    Healer team work is such a big deal and I really think that people overlook it a lot. When we started working on Horridon, I (the druid healer) was the only one dispelling. There were some attempts where I had 25+ dispels, the paladin healer had 10-ish, and the shadow priest had 2. I raged at my husband about how ‘useless’ my raid was other then pew-pewing and when I calmed down, I opened my mic and explained to everyone in vent exactly how important those dispels were. Shortly after that, the holy paladin bumped his dispels up to almost match mine, the shadow priest did about 5 of her awesome mass dispels, and when we got to gate 3, the paladin tank had a few dispels as well. AND when we reached gate 4, the two shaman and the mage were cleansing curses like it was their only job.

    As you can see, from this example, our raiding team is one in which most non-healers will use their healing/dispeling abilities as needed. And I know that I appreciate that.

    On Tortos, we rotate our cooldowns like this for the big stun/rocks fall phase: Tranq, Paladin Cooldown, Healing Tide Totem from the Elemental Shaman, ‘heavy healing phase, Tranq, Paladin Cooldown,etc. Our dps shaman is one of my favorite people because he wants to help us healers out so much. We rely on his Ancestral Guidance on every fight he’s enhancement and his Healing Tide Totem when he’s elemental. I could just kiss him for all the hard work he puts into making my life easier as a healer.

    I spend a lot of my time working on ‘getting along’ with my co-healer. He’s not my favorite person, and he knows that. But we are definately in a better place now then we were when we started. And we are a much better team now then we were then as well.

    I love that you read my post and your insights are awesome! /high-five

  2. Bytes says:

    Teamwork is one of those hard to measure things isn’t it heee – if only recount could say to the Raid Leader … oh look your healing team has 95% synergy tonight! We are working on our Horrible dinosaur fight at them moment, the decursing needs are insane (I suspect once the DPS untangle their feet and we get some solid interrupting rolling out it will be simpler). I think we need more communication from the non heal raid team when raid wide healing cooldowns and damage reductions are being blown – but it is a very nice and helpful team. Lol I enjoyed reading your post! /return high five :D

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